Recovery Month Testimonials – Taming & Unchaining Shame

Today, we commemorate the first day of Recovery Month. A month in which we celebrate that recovery is possible. As each recovery journey is unique and inspiring, we will be sharing testimonials of our members on their Recovery Journey. Their stories are inspiring and empowering.

Today, we would like to kick off the month with a poem written by Tracey. She has a blog on which she writes “about a variety of different subjects, including life in general, [her] own addiction with illicit drugs, and the impact [her] dad’s alcoholism had on [her] and [their] relationship, and the grey areas in between. [Her] blog/posts have no hidden agenda, except [her] desire to speak [her] own truth based on [her] own lived experience. [She] is currently working on a book which describes two stories of addiction with very different endings”. She also manages the Sheffield Recovery Community Forum, coordinating a network of commissioned and non-commissioned lived experienced recovery peer support groups supporting individuals in recovery. Read more about her work and poetry on her website:

It’s been with me for years, I could best describe shame as being unable to say what I really wanted to say, suffocated by other people’s opinions or expectations. Sometimes my mind felt it felt like I was a contortionist, my thoughts and emotions were permanently being twisted into what I now understand to be unnatural positions. I wanted to share my most recent poem it’s called

Taming & unchaining shame

He’s there

Mr shame dangling the key

For years I thought I would never be free

Always secretly wanting more

But too afraid to tell

Because if I blew my cover

My life will be hell

So, I would continue to conform, to societies norm

Like a contortionist trying to fit in

But it never seemed to work

And I could never seem to win

I could not find my place

I had accepted my fate

I continued taking the blows

I shelved my desires

But in reality, my life was a show

Each time I gave in

I lost part of my soul

And wondered if I’ll ever feel whole

I wasn’t a bad person

I was just too eager to please

But this got me into trouble because I’d neglected my own needs

But over time I started to question

Mulling over my past, the years of rejection

And realised it was time for some honest reflection

I started listening to my heart

It was time for a fresh start

I learned the peace that I’d been yearning had always been there

All I had to do was take a step back and practice some self-care

The more I truly listened

The more I heard

And I finally found the courage to break free from the herd

I took back the key, from my jailer called shame

And for the first time in my life

I feel like I’m part of life’s game

Remember you hold the key

Maybe its time to get honest

It’s time to face your reality


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